Baking made simple

Norwegian creamy, lemony, fruity cheesecake 😍😍😍

This summer we spent a few weeks at the Fjord in Norway. Where my in-laws have a summer cabin. Once a year all the people who stay at the Fjord have a summer feast. It’s so beautiful, as my mother-in-law says like a big community family 😍.


It was great everyone brought a dish each. There must have been 100 people and we all ate loads, drank loads, laughed and danced our hearts out πŸ˜ƒ.

At this festival my husband was eating the dessert and just fell in love πŸ˜† with this amazing cheesecake. The lady who made it; asked him what he thought of it!! He was just in a daze at how good it tasted. And he kept going on and on about it that night. That was it; the next day, I said to my mother-in- law we needed to get this recipe. So she would sit outside her cabin and every time any ladies walked by, she would call us to see if it was the same lady, that made the cheesecake. This went on for two weeks. Finally the cheesecake lady walked past……… only for us to realise it was their next door neighbour πŸ˜…. She was so happy to tell us the recipe. With the help of my husband translating it for me. I gave it ago….. shared it with my family in London and they could not stop digging in. It was like watching that episode of “Friends”, when Chandler and Rachel fought over the cheesecake that fell on the floor πŸ˜†. At the end of our dinner my sister and husband were fighting over the last slice. Seeing who could get to it first πŸ˜‚.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did!!!


280g digestive biscuit

110g unsalted butter

300ml double cream

300ml sour cream

250g cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla extract

110g icing sugar

Zest of one lemon

2 sachets of jelly

Blueberries and rasberries


1. Crush the biscuits in a Robochef or I find a bag and rolling pin does the trick

2. Melt the butter and mix well the crushed digestive biscuit with a spoon. Press the mix in a tin to form a layer about half an inch. Put in the fridge for 20 minutes.

3. Mix the sour cream, cream cheese, lemon zest, vanilla extract together.

4. Separately whip the double cream till thick. Whip it on a medium speed. Do not over whisk it will turn into curd. Which will prevent that fluffy creamy layer in the middle. Fold the cream into the mixture.

5. Pour the mixture onto the biscuit layer in the tin. Place in the fridge for 45 minutes.

6. Make up the jelly with half the amount of water recommendations on the packet. And let it cool.

7. Place the berries onto the creamed mixture and pour the jelly on top. Just to cover the fruit. As some fruit may float to the top. Put the tin in the fridge till the jelly has set.

8. Take the tin out of the fridge and pour more jelly on top to ensure all fruit is covered. Put back in the fridge to set and chill till you serve.

I highly recommend you cut a big enough slice for yourself first!

Baking made simple · cake

Autumn basket of carrot cake



“Autumn is in the air, with a moist carrot cake”

What better way to get your spirits up, with the end of Summer. Than to have that warm smell of toasted nuts and cinnamon spices. And of course an autumn vegetable, like carrots. To give you a delicious moist carrot cake. πŸ˜‹


To get the aromas in the kitchen. Toast the walnuts before you add it to the cake. Just make them golden, so watch them closely to avoid them burning. Another option of nuts to use are pecans πŸ˜‹ or try out your favourite nut and share!

The only thing that takes long to prepare, is grating the carrots. Other than that mix everything together. If you don’t have an electric mixer it’s easy to mix by hand too.

I’ve added buttermilk to my recipe, as an extra touch to give that added moistness.

I’ve also reduced the sugar quantity in this recipe. I found having both caster sugar and light brown sugar, can make the cake too sweet if too much is added.

For the frosting I recommend a soft frosting in between the layers. But if you are going to do piping decorations. Use a frosting with more butter and icing sugar. As it holds better, making piping patterns on the cake later easier to hold its shape. While I was piping the basket onto the cake. I had to put the cake and frosting in the fridge half way during piping to cool the mixture down. I think my kitchen was too hot on that day too. So definitely keep space in your fridge.

Ingredients for cake
400g plain flour
200g caster sugar
200g light brown sugar
450ml sunflower oil
2& 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 eggs
500g carrots
2 tbsp buttermilk
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate soda
1& 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Vanilla extract
150g walnuts

Cream cheese frosting inside layers
250g cream cheese
50g butter
25g icing sugar
Few drops of vanilla extract

Cream cheese frosting for piping
250g cream cheese
120g butter
4 cups icing sugar
Few drops of vanilla extract
Gel paste food colouring to give the colour on the basket


1. Set your oven to 160 degrees Celsius and grease 2 round tins
2. Grate the carrots
3. Chop the walnuts and roast on a frying pan. (Make sure they don’t burn).
4. Mix together the flour, brown sugar, caster sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, soda bicarbonate.
5. Mix in the oil and vanilla extract.
6. Whisk separately the eggs and add to the mixture. Along with the buttermilk.
7. Once the mixture is mixed well. Stir in with a spoon the carrots and walnuts.
8. Pour the mixture in your greased trays making sure equal quantities in both.

9. Put in the oven for an hour to 1hour and 10 mins. Check with a knife that’s it’s baked before you take it out.
10. Once cooled level the cakes with a knife.


Cream cheese frosting
1. Mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Put the non piping one in between the layers.


Look out for my blog in the week on how to decorate this moist cakeπŸ€—




Baking made simple

Creating a last minute surprise


I’ve always loved baking for my loved ones and people at work.
When I think of baked things it reminds me of joyous times like celebrating occasions to simply hanging out with friends. Bringing out a cake always brings an exciting thrill through the air and smiles all round. Wouldn’t it be great to achieve this without having to do much work 😝

Whenever I bake I always mix up extra mixture so that I can get enough mixture to make an extra cake. Once cooled wrap the cake well in foil and a plastic bag. And pop it in the freezer. If you have a last minute event or friends popping over. Defrost it the night before. Mix up my favourite chocolate and coffee mascarpone frosting. Ice it with with a beautiful lined effect, you don’t even need a spatula if you don’t have one. I use the handle of my grater. If you have some fruit in the garden or house. Place it on as decoration. πŸ€— you have a wonderful cake without lots of extra work.

The extra layer I had was from the coffee cake mixture I was making for a tiramisu layer cake.



Be creative and have some fun, teasing your friends that you’ve been at it all morning!



Baking made simple

Bestemor Bread!!! #Quick & easy to make #Great for the kids!

img_5001-1My husband’s Bestemor (Grandma) from Norway. Has never bought bread from a store. She only knew what’s best for her… make homemade bread. This recipe had never been written down. It had just always been in her head. The bread is just delicious. Nothing like what you buy in a store. It’s like that warm nostalgic bread, you get at the start of dinner, in an amazing restaurant.

A few years ago, I asked her to show me how she makes it. With the help of my mother-in-law, we wrote it down in Norwegian.


Unfortunately she was in hospital, for a period of time. So Besterfa (her husband) was at home on his own. His version of cooking is putting a frozen pizza on a frying pan 😫. So my mother-in-law and I, attempted to bake the bread for him. The feedback we got, was it didn’t taste the same, as it didn’t have enough salt πŸ˜….

The other day my sister-in-law and I were trying to work out, what bread we could give our 8 month old babies. I remembered I had this recipe in the cupboard. We found it, luckily still readable. And tested the recipe out. With half the mixture, we didn’t add any salt and used unsalted butter (for the boys). I recommend if you do this, make a different decoration on top, so you know which one is which. My sister-in-law came up with, an extra sprinkle of sesame seeds on ours!! What a great idea πŸ’‘

So while my parents entertained the boys. We made the bread. We couldn’t believe how quick it was to mix up. Its perfect, because we didn’t have to wait for it to prove. You just put it straight into a cold oven and turn the heat up πŸ˜ƒ. One hour later, that glorious smell of baking. Had the boys drooling over the bread. All of us stood round the bread in the kitchen, testing it out πŸ˜‹.

This bread also tastes great once stored in the freezer. Just pack it in a clear food bag, and put that in a carrier bag. Take it out the night before you need it, to let it defrost…… delicious for breakfast or lunch.


1kg of plain flour

2 cups (256g) of wholemeal bread flour

1 cup (128g) of oats

4 teaspoons of sesame seeds (remove from kids bread if allergic)

2 teaspoons of salt

700ml milk

100g yeast live (Norwegian) or if dry Β yeast use quantity required for 1.4kg of flour on the packet

500ml water


1. Mix together all the dry ingredients.

2. Heat 400ml milk with 500ml water to about 37 degrees.

3. In 300ml warm milk add the yeast and mix well.

4. Mix the milk and yeast into the dry ingredients. Then pour in the rest of the wet ingredients.

5. Mix till you get a dough that’s not too dry and not too sticky. If too sticky add a little more plain flour. If too dry add a little more warm water.

6. Divide the mixture into 3, and make them into bread like loaves. Place onto baking parchment on a tray. Sprinkle more sesame seeds on top. And make a few dents on the top.

7. Use salted butter to put blobs on tops and on the sides. To give them a nice golden look.

8. Place the tray in a cold oven. Turn the oven up to 180 degrees for 30 minutes. After this time turn the oven up to 200 degrees for 25 minutes.

9. Take out of the oven once you can tap it. It should give a hollow sound.

Be creative, by adding extra seeds or dried cranberries!! Enjoy!! πŸ€— for breakfast, lunch or dinner!!


Cake dedicated to our late Granny



Inspired for my late amazing Granny

My Granny was so cute and amazing. She was little and full of life. Her mission in life, was to ensure all that visited Villa Maria (her warm home), were fed well and had a glass in their hand πŸ˜…. She always knew how to enjoy a party, dancing away. If there was a fashion show she would be the first to jump onto the stage.

She was so proud of her 5 kids, because they gave her 14 grandchildren. Her mission…… get them all married 😍

And her final mission was to have the most beautiful garden on her street, with gorgeous roses 🌹

In memory of her I created this cake #VillaMaria #whiskey #roses

The bottle of whiskey initially was meant to be standing but my cake was so moist it broke 😫. So what do you do with a cracked cake……. improvise. I stood in front of the cracked cake with my little son, asking him what I should do. He starred at the cake …… humming away, and ding it came to us πŸ‘….. lie the bottle flat!!!

Assembly time

1. I had a rectangle flat cake. I cut it into 3 parts (2 big parts and 1 smaller one) the 2 big parts as shown here, using my edible icing for the label to get the width. The 2 big parts were put on top of each other, straight onto the serving plate. With baileys mascarpone icing to keep them together.



2. The smaller part of the cake I halved and put on top of each other to make the bottle neck and lid. I used a stencil of the lid to help me cut the shape.



3. I then gave the cake a crumb coat of frosting. Popped it in the fridge to chill. And then once chilled added the final layer of frosting to the colour I wanted.


4. I used black royal icing to make the lid of the cake.
5. I then took the backing off my edible icing. I had ordered this online, personalised to my Granny.



The “Villa Maria” I made from melted chocolate. Made simply in the the microwave for about 30 seconds and stirred till silky smooth. I then used a piping bag to write on parchment. I recommend making a few so you can pick the one you’re most happy with. Plus they can break when peeling off the parchment. To avoid getting fingerprints on your chocolate, use a knife to take it off the parchment, when transferring to the cake.


I made the roses by hand, out of pink fondant icing. This final touch bought the cake together.

We had this cake with my close family, after a nice meal. Who would have known cake could help us think of all the wonderful memories we had with our Granny.

We miss you and love you loads Granny xxx


Baileys & Chocolate cake

The first time I tried to bake a Baileys and chocolate cake I could hardly taste the Baileys. So I went back to the drawing board and found this highly recommended recipe below. It’s so moist and the alcohol is not too strong. Giving you the choice to add a Baileys with mascarpone frosting. Just a great after dinner dessert.

Plus added bonus it’s so easy to make and you could do it without an electric whisk.



2 cups plain flour

1 & 3/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 egg

2/3 cup oil

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup Baileys

1 cup strong coffee


250g mascarpone

50g icing sugar

1-2 tablespoons of Baileys


1. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius and grease your baking tray.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients together

3. In a separate bowl mix all the wet ingredients together

4. Sieve the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Mix well together.

5. Put in your greased baking tray and put in the oven for about 30-35 minutes. If using a deep cake tin check after 40 minutes if ready.


1. So easy just mix all the ingredients together

Baking made simple

Baking a Baileys Delight

This one is so a night in chilling, with drinks with your girls πŸ˜ƒ or boys

WhatsApp best place to throw in ideas. So I asked my best friends to tell me what kind of cake they wanted. They came out with chocolate…… Baileys …. cupcakes. So I did as they said but with a twist. I added the bottle of Bailey’s. At first I thought this is going to be hard to get the picture of the Bailey’s bottle to look real. But everything is possible with “edible icing pictures!!” And you can order it to your door online.

Getting the pieces to shape your cake

1. I had to work out how to make the shape of the bottle. I had 3 different sized circle cutters i found in my Mums kitchen 😝.

2. I baked my Baileys and chocolate cake mixture (recipe below) in a flat 12×9 inch tray, so I was left with a rectangle shaped cake 1inch high.

3. I scraped the left over batter to make 6 mini cupcakes (2 to put on top of the cake as the lid. The rest were there to eat while I decorated the cake 😝you can also make more to decorate around the Baileys bottle when you serve).

4. Once the cake was cooled I chilled it in the fridge for an hour. This made the cake less crumbly. I used the circle cutters to make 5 big circles and 1 of each of the smaller circles.

5. I made a mascarpone and Baileys frosting. This I used to layer the cake. And added black colouring to the rest of the mixture. This covered the outside of the cake.

6. Before you start assembling the cake make sure you have you serving plate and that you have space in the fridge for it and to be able to take the height of your cake (up to 9inches).

7. Make sure your cake to assemble are still cold so it’s less likely to break.

Assembly time!

1. Double check all your layers are straight. If any are at an angle you will have a wonky cake 😩

2. Place the 5 layers of the largest circles one on top of the other using the mascarpone frosting in between the layers this will hold it together. Take 2 wooden skewers check they are shorter than the height of your cake. If too long cut them before you go to the next step. Those skewers can be really hard to cut. I had to snap mine and then take off any wooden spikes. Insert the 2 wooden skewers through your cake. Make sure the cake looks straight and not like the Leaning Tower of Pizza.

3. Now you can add your medium sized circle and then the smallest. Finally take 2 of the cupcakes out of the cases and place them on top of the cake.

4. You now have a shape like a bottle. To make it more bottle-like. Use a serrated knife to curve the bottle neck.

5. To get the black coloured frosting I would recommend a black gel paste is great to use as the colouring is less likely to leak out of the icing than liquid colouring. Add the amount you need to get a black colour.

6. Put your crumb based icing on. This is just a thin layer of icing. Put the cake in the fridge to chill. This step is so important otherwise it’s a nightmare to add your final layer of buttercream. As it will get all little cake crumbs on the outside and will be difficult to get a smooth frosting.

7. Once cooled take your black buttercream and add a thick amount of it onto your cake with a spatula. I found it easier with a knife as it was nice and slim to get around the cake.

8. On the top of the cake put a thin layer of the white mascarpone frosting. I then used a sheet of kitchen towel to smooth out the frosting. Once you are happy with a smooth finish.

9. Cut out the shape of your Bailey’s label and place it on the cake. And use a knife to make the lines on the lid of the bottle.

Now you and your friends just need to decide how to cut it and indulge.